Well, Poetry.com has managed to do it again. This time they scammed a few bereaved mothers I know. As it isn't enough that these women lost their children. Now Poetry.com is taking their money for nothing and scamming them. Why do I know it's a scam?
I had the same experience with them.
When I was in school studying with a mentor, he had me sending out submissions like crazy, but nothing was being accepted anywhere. Then one day I got an acceptance letter from "the national library of poetry" -- this is one of the names poetry.com functions under -- and they said they accepted all the poems I had sent them!! It looked very official and had a proof sheet and everything. They said the poems would be in a leather bound anthology, etc. Then it also included an order form to order an "author's copy" of the book -- back in the 90's they were only charging like $49.95 for it, but still that was a chunk for me as a poor college student.
But I was soooooo happy anyway. I went flying down to the school, floated up the stairs of the English Dept building, found my mentor and was like, "Looooooook!!!!!" And at first he was grinning, like cool, finally her work is paying off and then I handed him the papers and his whole face just fell. And I was like, "What?!" And he hemmed and hawed and invited me to sit down in his office.
And then he proceeded to tell me about them. If I paid the $49.95, I'd get a copy of the book with my poems in it, yes. But if I didn't pay, I'd never see the book because they don't release those books to Books In Print or libraries, etc. And so they don't include those who don't pay. He suggested that if I had $49.95, that I do a quick layout of 20 of my best works in Word, go to the student copy center, and make 10 chapbooks for myself instead. "Better spent" he told me.
And so I did -- and when I read at the "Sucking the Mop" reading a few weeks later, I actually sold 3 copies of my chapbook to random people who just liked what they heard!!! And they paid for my coffee and drinks that night. Not a bad deal!
So I've kept track of their scam all these years coz it was such a huge imprint on my brain and heart. And I try to warn people when I can. There are lots of discussions out there about poetry.com and other "scams" -- most of these discussions poo-poo self publishing all together -- like they would even say my publishing my own chapbook is "scamming" my readers because it's was all "vanity" that made me spend my money on making books, etc. But I think it's less of a "scam" to "do it yourself" than to be ripped off by some corporation... anyway, if anyone is interested in any of the discussions, here's links to some of the places, I read:
And there are many others out there doing "scam tracking" work -- just type "poetry scam" into google search and then you can read at length...
i know it's disappointing -- but remember, information is POWER -- next time you'll find a way better home for your poetry!!